Post Road Magazine #9

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Futility by William Gerhardie -Heidi Jon Schmidt

William Gerhardie is rediscovered regularly, which is to say: he is easily forgotten. The author of Futility, Doom, and Success—and How to Avoid It, has been championed by Evelyn Waugh, Katharine Mansfield, Graham Greene, Edith Wharton, H.G. Wells . . . and manages to remain generally unknown •

North Dallas Forty by Peter Gent -Jason Flores-Williams

Gent played for the Dallas Cowboys in the late 60's. He was part of his generation, he questioned the status quo. He understood football to be what it is—a new kind of American religion. He saw deep in the heart of our society: you can get away with anything—everything is acceptable ...more

“The Return” by Andrei Platonov from The Return and Other Stories -Katherine Shonk

“A short story exists, in a sense, to end,” Frederick Busch wrote in a 2002 New York Times review of Antonya Nelson's collection Female Trouble. Busch elaborates on this wonderfully suggestive statement, but for the short-story reader, his elaboration is better left temporarily withheld ...more

What's It All About? A Novel of Life, Love and Key Lime Pie by William Van Wert -Lisa Borders

“Grief is when you can't let go of someone you lost,” Hiram Walker, the 79-year-old trailer park president who narrates William Van Wert's What's It All About?, tells us as he reflects on his wife's death. “Truth is, that someone can't let go of you, either. The first one to say 'Uncle' is the winner.” •

Polite Society by Melanie Sumner -Alden Jones

I lend books reluctantly. I am fiercely attached to my books, and if I don't love a book, I get rid of it—my shelves are overflowing as it is. My offer to lend a book is usually accompanied by a threat regarding the potential loss of my friendship if the book is not returned. But I have enthusiastically lent Melanie Sumner's Polite Society so many times that the white border of the jacket has grayed •

Ask the Dust by John Fante -Rebecca Donner

It's not often that someone grabs you by the lapels and tells you that you must, absolutely must read a particular book. Not in my experience anyway. Usually my friends' recommendations come with their fair share of disclaimers and qualifications, the sort of hedging we all engage in simply because we know that one person's dog-eared treasure is another's doorstop ...more

Time's Witness by Michael Malone -Tim Cockey

Has anybody out there heard of the writer Michael Malone? What? You haven't? Then by all means drop what you're doing (and that includes reading this recommendation) and run out and purchase, oh . . . how about all of his books ...more

On Boxing by Joyce Carol Oates -Michael Rosovsky

In November of 1999, I attended a Super Middleweight Championship fight between, “Dangerous” Dana Rosenblatt and Vinny “The Pazmanian Devil” Pazienza. I'd seen Dana fight before, and was trying to write a profile of what I thought was his unusual career. He eked out a controversial decision over Pazienza, and I jumped the steel barrier in the Foxwoods Casino ballroom, eager to join my fellow journalists, but lacking legitimate press credentials •

The Single Girl Goes to Town by Jean Baer -Josephine Bergin

There is a basement bookstore on 27th Street in Baltimore. It is the messiest, dustiest, most questionably organized bookstore I've ever been to. It really seems like a terrible fire hazard. And it's one of my favorite places in my favorite city •

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